Obama administration confirms Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army
Eric Fanning is America’s first openly gay Secretary of the Army; he is now the highest-ranking out, gay official in history to hold this prestigious military position.
President Obama nominated Fanning eight months ago, however Sen. Pat Roberts (R) withheld his confirmation due to an on-going dispute with the Obama administration about moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth.
“Let me be very clear on this — as a veteran, a Marine — I support Mr. Eric Fanning for this post," Roberts said last month. "If the White House calls and assures me that terrorists held at Guantanamo will not come to Ft. Leavenworth, I will release the hold — immediately."
That dispute was put to rest today and Fanning was finally confirmed.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) sent out a release after the news, praising the Obama administration for continuing to move forward with history making decisions which positively affect the LGBT community.
"Eric Fanning's historic confirmation today as Secretary of the U.S. Army is a demonstration of the continued progress towards fairness and equality in our nation’s armed forces," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "Eric Fanning has spent his career serving this nation with tireless dedication, skill and ability, and as secretary he will bring that same commitment to the men and women of the U.S. Army."
Fanning once served as the Army’s principal adviser, becoming undersecretary for the Air Force in 2O13, before briefly serving as its acting secretary for six months.
Re-iterating his support for Fanning before giving his vote, Sen. Roberts said he never questioned if Fanning was the right person for the job.
"He will be a tremendous leader as Army secretary and will do great by our soldiers at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley," Roberts said.